Your Green Homestead Launch and Update

Nashville, TN – January 14, 2019 – Your Green Homestead has been officially launched with the post Natalia’s Vision as the first Contest entry in the Vision category by the founder of Your Green Homestead, Natalia Smothers.

Natalia’s Vision

Imagine… As you wake up in the morning, you open your eyes and find yourself in your beloved homestead surrounded by sun light and lush greenery. You take a deep breath of sweet clean air and leisurely stretch in your comfortable bed made from organic and healthy materials listening to happy chirping of the birds nearby…

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“My vision is one among many other possibilities,” said Natalia Smothers. “I encourage the visitors of Your Green Homestead to rate it and leave a comment similar to any other contest entry. If you don’t see something that you envision as sustainable, please submit your own story, video, podcast, or any other kind of artwork depicting your vision of a sustainable homestead or household. The highly rated submissions will be featured on the Vision Contest summary page and entered in the competitions for awards from our sponsors.”

First Steps

Your Green Homestead will engage various experts and practitioners to share their experience and designs in a series of online contests under specific Categories and Tags. With the Vision submissions, comments, and discussions from other members of Your Green Homestead, new categories and tags will be added. They will be organizing all Contests, Products, Events, Member News, and Forum discussions for easy reference.

Together as an online community, Your Green Homestead would like to design several homesteads that address all sustainability issues in various systematic ways and investigate how affordable they would be for an average family compared to traditional homes built by all the current codes with the use of materials that are difficult to recycle and expensive to maintain.

The great news is that many of the sustainability concepts have already been explored by reputable scientists and tried out in practice, including myriad of DIY projects by brave pioneers who acted on the information even before the professional designs have been offered. In fact, there are so many lengthy discussions and presentations on these topics online that we felt the need to ask for your help in evaluating and rating the best presentations.

Prior to launching Your Green Homestead website, we had an opportunity to attend the first two lectures at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee about a Living Building project in progress at Georgia Tech University in Atlanta, Georgia. A sizeable grant from the Kendeda Fund is paying for the design and constructions of the Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design that will seek the certification via the world’s toughest green-building standard established by the International Living Future Institute. The links to the recordings of the first two lectures “Making Nashville Living Building Ready” on Vanderbilt University youtube channel have been shared on Your Green Homestead Facebook page. The Part 3 is coming up on January 31, 2019.

  • Part 1 about overall design (1:12 hrs)
  • Part 2 about water solutions (1:37 hrs)
  • Part 3 about materials – coming up on January 31, 2019 on Vanderbilt campus

If you find this educational project interesting and exciting as well, please feel free to review the details and look at the 24/7 live cam of the Kendeda Building construction on the Living Building Chronicle website. One of the Chronicle’s articles about regenerative buildings in the Southeast describes 11 certified LBC projects that include 2 elementary schools, 1 middle school, and several educational centers that use the Declare labeling system for building products, through which the manufacturer lists all materials that go into a product, as well as the origin of the product, its expected lifespan and options for its reuse or disposal. The label also provides information on whether the product is free of toxic materials.

Buildings in various regions have diverse adaptations to the local climate. Some examples were presented by UPenn and Cal Poly architects in a 3-min. Climate Adapting Homes video by We Need This Facebook page. We shared it on Your Green Homestead Facebook page back in September 2018. The interviewed architects estimated that carbon-neutral homes with design features adapted to the local climate would cut the total building emissions by about half. Considering that 39% of all carbon dioxide emissions in the United States comes from buildings, construction of climate adapting homes would substantially reduce the need for electricity and lower impact on the environment. These architects say that many of the design principles for climate adapting homes are simple and easy to implement.

While we are waiting for a wide acceptance of these Earth-friendly ideas and emergence of the new sustainable standards in home construction, there are many topics that we can start learning and implementing right away. The most popular post that we shared on Your Green Homestead Facebook page is about How to grow fresh air. In this TED Talk, Indian researcher Kamal Meattle cites NASA calculations about the oxygen needs of an average person and suggests a specific arrangement of three common houseplants for cleaning the indoor air.

We also can begin learning about the permaculture principles that emphasize much easier and less time-consuming no till gardening by establishing a thoughtfully designed pattern of plants that you want to have on your homestead in the beginning and allowing them to reproduce on their own without labor-intensive practices that most gardeners traditionally use.

The initial Natalia’s Vision is only one of the countless possibilities. Each of us will want to have a different set of features in our households. What would be common for all of us is succeeding in the skillful balancing of our lives in all areas, including health, fitness, relationships, emotional, spiritual, social life, travel, career, finance, parenting, and overall vision. Last month, we shared on Your Green Homestead Facebook page the 9 Daily Habits That Will Help You Lead An Extraordinary Life that Jon & Missy Butcher explored and mastered for over 30 years. Another Mindvalley speaker, Jim Kwik, presented 10 Morning Routines To Jumpstart Your Brain that could help us keep our focus all day long.  Each of us can begin this learning any time!

If you have any specific questions about sustainable homestead design, please feel free to post them in the comments area or send us an email to

We look forward to hearing from you and following up on all the sustainability topics that you would like to raise!

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“Hold the Vision and They Will Build It” – How Germantown Cohousing Community appeared in Nashville, Tennessee (Founder’s account)

Germantown Commons, the first cohousing community in Nashville, TN, was a result of over five years of research, planning, capital raising, and construction. The Founder of this community Diana Sullivan is sharing with the readers of Your Green Homestead her personal journey of struggle in the early stages of the development process and how she was able to overcome the obstacles by focusing and holding a powerful vision that attracted the right people and resources at the right time along the way.